History of Menard's Courthouse
Courthouse and jail were reportedly in the Paddy H. Mires building downtown. (see more HERE)
San Angelo Standard
San Angelo Standard
Editor Standard-A very important question for our place and county was
decided last week by the county commissioners. There has been a great
deal of talk about having a court house for the county, and at the last
term of the Commissioners court, they appropriated $20,000 for one and
$5,000 for a jail. This, however, met with great opposition, and last
week at the regular term of the court the action was rescinded and the
appropriation for a court house was cut down to $10,000, leaving that
for the jail $5,000 as before. This action does not seem to suit everyone
but we presume it will be carried out as being the best that can be done
under the circumstances. It is far better, at any rate, for all concerned
that the matter is settled positively, both that we are to have a court
house and that it is to be here. There is no one thing that hurts business
interests so much as an uncertainty of any kind, and especially in such
a matter as the permanent location of the county seat. Heretofore, no
one knew whether the town would remain here, or be moved five miles up
or two miles down the river; and in consequence were slow to make any
improvements. Now, we look for a new order of things and it is coming.
"There is a tide in the affairs of men which taken at the flood,
leads on to fortune." The people of Menard will not be slow to recognize
the tide, and we predict a bright future for this county, which, though
endowed plentiously by nature with fine streams and excellent soil, has
been overlooked in the hasty scramble of people to the far west. Farming
can be made, and is successful here by irrigation, and the valley of the
San Saba will one day be made to bloom as the rose. A more liberal action
on the part of the commissioners in the matter of appropriations for public
buildings, would perhaps, have brought the county more prominently to
the notice of outsiders who are on the search for a permanent home; but
we think they will come here if our citizens make any effort whatever
to bring them. For if they once see the soil and its capabilities and
notice on the map the position of the county near the geographical center
of the State, about mid-way between two great railroads which will eventually
be connected by a line through this section, the county itself having
one of the finest streams in Texas running for forty miles through it
from west to east, about midway between the northern and southern boundary
lines, and fed at intervals by numerous little streams, they will not
be slow to conclude that Menard county has a future.
October 25, 1884 (3-6)
Messrs. Hull & Shannon?, architects and contractors, from Burnet, are here prospecting, and are making an effort to get the contract for the proposed Courthouse and Jail. They will examine the character of the stone to be used and all other particulars so as to be able to make an estimate for a bid. They are of the opinion that the County Commissioners will have to appropriate at least 17,000, if not $20,000 if Menard county is to have respectable office buildings. We need great buildings here, and it would be false ? to commence ? that might in a year or two prove inadequate.
New Courthouse built around this time period. (see picture)
Editor Standard-On last Monday night two workmen on the Court house
here by the names of Lloyd and Brown, while playing pool at one of the
saloons, became involved in a fight together, and before they could be
separated Brown was stabbed once or twice by Lloyd. The wounded man seems
to be doing well at the present time, and will doubtless be out on the
streets again in a short while. Lloyd’s examining trial took place
this morning before Judge Wyatt, county judge. The defendant waived examination
and the Court fixed his bond at $400 to appear at the next term of the
District Court. It is not known yet whether he will be able to give the
Work on the Courthouse is being delayed somewhat on account of the slow
delivery of lumber.
January 22, 1931-Menard News and Messenger:
"NEW COURT HOUSE"---There's but little definite information concerning the propsed new court house. However, it is understood that acceptable plans have not yet been had from the architect. This is the first matter to be determined. Then a months notice for bids will have to be run, etc.
It is understood the building is to cost between $125,000 and $150,000.
March 26, 1931-Menard News and Messenger:
WORK ON THE COURT HOUSE IS UNDER WAY
Ground was broken Tuesday of this week for the new court house. Seventy-five men and boys congregated Tuesday and were ready to start actual pick and shovel work. Of this number more than forty were given work. A wage scale of 25 cents per hour was announced for common labor and the first men to the shovels when the word go was announced got the jobs.
With an abundance of common labor available, it will require but a short time to excavate and pour the foundation and make ready for the laying of brick which will give employment to a number of skilled workmen.
Whatever else may be said of the court house project, it will give employment to a crowd of people who need it and who are anzious to have it. With sugar and beans selling at 20 pounds to the dollar, 25 cents per hour will feed a family pretty well.
April 9, 1931-Menard News and Messenger:
Old-Timers Are Interested In Seeing Building Kept Intact. Outsiders Write In
Of later there is being more or less interest taken in the preserving of the old Court House building. Old-timers, particularly, view it with more or less sentiment, and outsiders who formerly lived here also are interested.
A letter from a former Menard County citizen was read at Friday's Lions Club luncheon, and the club voted to take the matter up with the Commissioner's Court.
The letter read to the Lions Club is given below as it was written to Ed L. Mears.
Word has come to me from somwhere that you folks are building a new court house and are threatening to tear down the one that has delighted my eyes and a thousand others so many times. In the name of all that is sentimental can't something be done to protect it. You've got a lot of ground, and you don't need the space it occupies. The old building is as duable as the channel of the San Saba and even if you don't need it the county could put it to some use that will bless the folks who live there and are to live there. The point to me is that it is a sin to destroy beauty when there is so little left to us. You and I won't be here forever but our souls will go marching on in the bosoms of those we have sired. I go about Texas a good deal, and there are not a dozen pieces of architecture in the state as sweet to the eye as that little building hard by an irrigation ditch in Menard. If you must be concerned with utility why not put it to the uses of being a public library; give a room to the American Legion and one to the ladies Aid Society; start a museum and collect some of the fragments of the things that were out there when the country was in its infancy.
It's been too long between visits with you and I don't want to be a meddler but please see if you can't save the old building and if you do my son and a multitude of men's sons will look upon it one day and thank their God's for a fellow whose eyes knew beauty enough to protect it for them.
Adios amigo and the best of luck,
HARRY BENGE CROZIER
July 23, 1931-Menard News and Messenger:
TO TEAR DOWN COURT HOUSE & JAIL BUILDINGS
The Menard County Commissioner's court passed an order Tuesday July the 14th directing that both the old court house and jail buildings be razed after completion of the new court house. By provisions of the order, the rock in the two buildings will be given to the Pioneer Rest Cemetery Association and will be used for building a fence around said cemetery. The order specifies that the Cemetery Association is to haul the rock away as rapidly as they are torn from the old buildings.
It is understood that a street will cross from east to west near the north line of the present old building and a nice lawn will be terraced and improved for the new court house. With the old building out of the way, the new structure will show up nicely from town and the new temple of justice will be one of the town's most attractive structures.
NOTE: While I strive for accuracy in all transcriptions, please be advised that typing errors may be present. I would suggest you always verify my online information with a copy of the actual record.
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